The predictions for the bank branch have been dire for some time. The rise of fintech and online banking have reduced the need for a physical location. While customers still prefer heading to their local branch for some types of transactions, branch traffic overall has been falling.
This has led many to suggest branches will soon be a thing of the past. Other predictions about the future of bank branches are less grim. Analysts see an opportunity for branch managers to transform their operations to suit the needs of today’s consumer.
How can you transform your branch in 2020? These four ideas should guide you.
1. Simplicity in Self-Service
One of the latest trends in branches has been an increase in self-service kiosks. While the self-service kiosk has benefits for both consumer and branch itself, the focus has largely been on self-service as a cost-cutting mechanism.
The focus on cutting costs rather than customer experience, though, has meant the installation of self-service kiosks that aren’t intuitive to use. These make it more likely that customers will experience issues in trying to use them.
Since the focus on cost-cutting also usually involves scaling back on staffing, though, the branch may not have an appropriate number of representatives present to help confused customers, compounding the negative self-service customer experience.
That’s why newer self-service kiosks must focus on simplicity. By starting with customers’ needs, the self-service kiosk can be simplified, reducing the chances the customer will encounter a problem.
Of course, you must also ensure you have enough staff on hand to assist customers if they do experience a setback.
2. Open Branch Design
The addition of self-service kiosks is often part of a physical redesign of the bank branch. With kiosks and more secure cash management solutions, you can re-envision the branch space as a more open and inviting area.
This redesign can foster relationships with your customers, providing a friendlier, more welcoming environment for their banking needs.
3. A Focus on Customer Service
The next major revolution in bank branches doesn’t involve a transformation of the physical space or the technology you use – it’s all about the focus of your branch operations. Customer service must take center stage for bank branches in 2020.
That could mean retraining your staff to deliver better service for every customer who walks in the door. Today, tellers often focus on processing transactions. In 2020, have them focus on how they can assist the customer. What does the customer require? What information could the teller provide to solve their issues?
Today’s customers often come to the branch to deal with complex issues that aren’t easily resolved in an app. Some feel uncomfortable sharing certain information over apps, or they need guidance on completing a process. Picking and opening an account, for example, are tasks most customers come into the branch for.
Give your team the training they require to support customers when they come in seeking answers.
4. New Cash Management Solutions
Of course, you must provide your team with the tools they need to support your customers. Cash management solutions could provide some of the answers you’re seeking.
Cash management solutions allow you to free up your tellers’ time. When they don’t have to worry about counting and recounting cash or running back and forth to the vault, they can spend more time with every customer who visits the branch.
Of course, the right management solutions also do so much more. They may help you reduce overhead costs, including maintenance fees, labor costs, and the cost of cash handling itself.
Whether you require new technology or new ways to manage that technology, get in touch with the experts as you prepare to transform your bank branch in 2020.